Photo above: Mark Miller (AKA “Padre”) with just another magical fall Chinook from Nehalem Bay. Padre exudes reverence and deserves every fish he catches. This one was taken on Saturday, September 10th, while fishing with pro guide Chris Vertopoulos (503-349-1377)
Portland/Metro Fishing Report – With anglers now back on the mainstem Columbia for fall Chinook, excitement and opportunity can reign once again for a high quality fishery, that remains somewhat volatile on a day-to-day basis. Counts at Bonneville have peaked, but opportunity will last for another 30+ days. Check regulations HERE for all the details and defined boundaries for this fishery.
Willamette River anglers are also anxiously watching Willamette Falls counts, in anticipation of the troll fishery that takes place upstream of the falls, likely jump-starting next week. It was an excellent small boat opportunity last year, and is expected to be another good one this year as well.
Clackamas River Fishing Report – Coho are entering the Clackamas in fair numbers, but stagnant weather conditions will keep most from aggressively biting. We’re in desperate need of a weather change with none expected in the near future. Until that happens, frustrations abound, despite jumping fish keeping angler’s hopes alive.
Sandy River fishing report – Avid angler Jeff Stoeger reports – “Hello All, I hope that you were able to get out and fish this week. We had a small tease with the rain the other morning and the forecast is for more rain to come over the next few days. It will depend on how much rain we get to get the coho on the move.
The river is running at 7.81 ft and will stay that way and the color of the river has a slightly off-color green. The temp has slowly dropped to about 61 degrees and will cool down even more with the temp at night running in the mid to upper 50’s. The daytime temp is cooling as well and are forecasted to run in the low 60’s for all of next week which is like fall time.
Find the full report and forecast for Members on the Sandy and the Clackamas from this page here.
North Coast Fishing Report – With more limited options than usual, north coast anglers are weighing their options this time of year, oftentimes too much to think about.
Nehalem Bay remains productive for fall Chinook, hatchery coho and some wild coho are also starting to show.
The ocean outside of Tillamook Bay is yielding fair catches of fall Chinook and good catches of wild and some hatchery coho. Most anglers are going deep, as in the 250+ foot line, to find ample biters.
The Nestucca, Salmon, Siletz and Alsea Rivers are all producing catchable numbers of fall Chinook, only to continue to improve into early October.
Tuna are abundant offshore, if you go far enough to find them. Some dorado are even being caught by tuna fishers, even further offshore.
Crabbing, both in the estuaries and offshore is also improving.
Halibut fishing remains under-utilized, with lots of quota remaining, and a daily 2-fish bag limit.
Bottomfishing remains excellent with most effort remaining in the nearshore. Be cognizant of new bag limits and restrictions. Find them HERE.
See the full North Coast Report and Forecast for Members right here.
Willamette River System Report – Contributor Glenn Zinkus reports:
Middle Fork Willamette Steelhead. GreenPeter – Kokanee Fishing Has Been Great – Get Them Now.
Alton Baker Canal: Alton Baker Canal was stocked with 900 legal size trout. As always, a great put and take option for anglers and families in the Eugene area. Alton Baker will be stocked weekly through the summer.
Detroit Reservoir: Kokanee reports this week indicate a slowdown in the fishing. Fish are down deeper, but anglers are not reporting much catch.
Water is dropping, but Mongold boat ramp is currently usable. See level report below.
Detroit was stocked up through the end of June with trophy trout each week. The deeper, cooler waters of Detroit make this a good trout fishing option, in depths below 20 feet and at times closer to the surface. Most recently trout were in the deeper zones with some nice catches reported.
Green Peter Reservoir: Kokanee catch reports are still very good. Early Kokes are down deep, below 50 feet. Trollers with some weight, more than 100 feet of line and trolling in the 1 to 1.2 mph range are catching kokes.
South Santiam Steelhead: No New Fish Counts. Continued steelhead count watch: there were 1528 summer steelhead collected at Foster Dam as of August 29 – this is the latest report as of the 24th.. This continues to be multiple times higher than previous years. But note that this is only about 12 fish in a week – the South Santiam steelhead run seems to be slowing down.
South Santiam Trout: Flows are dropping and getting a bit low for trout in the upper South Santiam River above Foster Reservoir.
North Santiam Trout and Steelhead: The North Santiam received 2,200 legal size trout late July.
Willamette River – Middle Fork:
Upper Stretches: There are widespread closures from the Cedar Creek Fire and a lot of smoke in the air.
Various parts of the Middle Fork has been good. The Middle Fork is steady currently at 2820 CFS. These are fishable flow rates. Water temperatures is 60 degrees.
Willamette River – From Harrisburg, to Corvallis, to Albany:
The Willamette River is currently at 5750 CFS at Harrisburg. Nice fishable flows right now, and wading the gravel bars is good. Waters are cooling and autumn patterns are starting up.
The usual impressionistic nymphs, like PTs will take trout. Use jig style flies to prevent hang-ups, and I’m catching more trout on jigged hooks than traditional most recently. Start watching for October caddis in a couple of weeks.
McKenzie River – Trout: The mainstem McKenzie water levels are slowly receding. The river is currently at a 2,720 CFS flowrate at Vida. A nice fishing level – lots of good fly water.
Can you believe there is MORE? Find the full report and forecast for Members on the Willamette Valley/Metro from this page here.
Central Oregon Fishing Report – Contributor Glenn Zinkus reports:
Metolius Hatches Going Strong. Mid-Columbia Salmon Picking Up Near Mouth of Deschutes. Deschutes River Temperatures Cooling To Safer Levels For Steelheading.
Weather Outlook Across Central and Eastern Oregon:
There has been some smokey skies and poor air quality in many parts of Central Oregon this week.
A cooling temperature trend has taken hold. Temperatures on Friday will top out in the 60s, 50s on Saturday. There is a 30 to 40 percent chance of rain showers on Saturday. Sunday and next week see a return to the 60s, with a warming trend into the upper 70s by later next week.
The Lower Deschutes is steady near the dam, with flows of 3620 CFS in Madras and 4060 CFS at Moody. Water access is good. These flows have been steady.
Temperatures on the lower portions of the river are in the 56 to 58 range at Madras, and 58 to 63 degree range near Moody. Temperatures have been trending downward due to lower ambient temperatures and a filtered sun.
The Deschutes Angler shop reports a lot of BWO activity. We continue to expect more dry fly action to improve as we move into September, and we can expect upcoming October caddis action, and mahogany duns . More on this as it starts to happen. Euronymphing for trout is still the hot ticket.
Guides are having success in their runs and buckets, with most fish from the mouth up to Macks Canyon. Temperatures are getting better, and the filtered sunlight have the fish on the move.
Haystack Reservoir: No limits starting Friday. A temporary rule to lift limits in Haystack Reservoir will be in effect Sept. 16 through Nov. 30 as the pool will be drawn down to facilitate emergency gate maintenance.
Crooked River: The Crooked River continues fishing well with flows still at around 175 GPS, but is still scheduled to go to 10 CFS now on September 15. As of right now, on the morning of the 15th, flows have not been changed yet. Until then, fish up the first few miles below the dam for the best opportunities.
Fall River: Fishing very well. Fall River was stocked with 1,000 trophy trout this week. BWO and PMD hatches have been ongoing, and look for increased BWO with a cooler and potentially wetter start to the weekend in the area.
And yet there is a lot more for Members. Check out Glenn’s detailed reports and forecasts right here for both Chinook and Steelhead Members!
SW Oregon Fishing Report – Contributor Jeff Rome reports:
Ocean conditions favorable for weekend, Rogue Bay still producing Chinook
The ocean outlook is favorable again for the weekend and should be another good opportunity for some good tuna, halibut and coho fishing out of most ports. Some nice halibut were caught out of Brookings earlier this week
The Chetco estuary is starting to get some attention as a few early Chinook have been caught.
The Rogue Bay is still producing fair to good catches of Chinook- adults and jacks. Some coho have also been caught but is pretty early and most have been wild fish which have to be returned. Half pounder and summer steelhead action up around Agness has picked up and should get better soon.
The mid and upper Rogue river is producing some nice summer steelhead from Griffin park and Chinook park up through Gold Hill and from Dodge park up through Shady cove by boat anglers back trolling plugs. Anglers are targeting Chinook at the mouth of the Applegate and at Finley Bend with some success (report all snaggers).
Winchester bay- main Umpqua estuary has picked up in the lower river and also Chinook catches on the Coos from the Empire boat ramp on up to Chandler bridge.
Small mouth bass action is excellent on the lower south and north Umpqua.
The Coquille River is producing nice catches of stripped bass from Rocky Point on up through Riverton.
Lost creek lake trout fishing is still decent and has very little boat traffic mid week. The main boat ramp may not be usable to most boats as of this publication, but the Takilma ramp will be open.
Be safe, be nice and enjoy!
Jeff’s detailed report, multiple lake updates, and forecast in this week’s version for Members!
SW Washington by Ian Carter
BEST BET – if you don’t want to travel far, Sturgeon on Saturday in the Kalama area. Got wheels then head to the gorge.
When fishing the North Fork right now, keep an eye on the ups and downs of the water flow. Fresh pods of fish tend to shoot up to the hatchery during these water events. I was up at the hatchery today and there were not as many fish jumping. Out of the 6 boats and probably 30 bank anglers I observed no fish caught in 45 minutes.
The water flow currently is 1,280 and trending at median flows, for now. The gauge height in woodland is ranging between 7ft-9ft depending on the tide. Fishing pressure is quite heavy and not very much success is being reported. Although I did observe a dozen or so carcasses at the boat launch.
The WDFW angler checks showed some successes – 162 bank rods kept 40 coho and 12 coho jacks, and released one Chinook, five coho and two coho jacks. Thirty-two boats/70 rods kept four Chinook, 18 coho and 12 coho jacks, and released 11 Chinook, one Chinook jack, 17 coho and five coho jacks. From this sampling it seems there are quite a few chinook around. The stream flow data can be found here: USGS-North Fork Lewis. I personally had a great Sunday at the mouth and to release this hefty Chinook, plus a smaller one.
Angler success reported by WDFW this week showed it to be a little busy with not much catching. Fifty six bank rods kept four Chinook and released three Chinook. One boat/1 rod had no catch. Korey at Bob’s Sporting Goods usually has great intel for when the fishing is good. He said he honestly hadn’t heard anything positive.
WDFW anglers’ checks reported the following: Cowlitz River I-5 Br downstream – 31 bank rods kept one Chinook and two coho, and released one Chinook and one coho. 51 boats/154 kept nine Chinook, one Chinook jack, seven coho, two coho jacks and one steelhead, and released 25 Chinook, one Chinook jack, three coho and nine steelhead. Cowlitz River Above the I-5 Br – Four bank rods kept two steelhead. 2 boats/5 rods kept two steelhead. This isn’t a very encoraging report, but contradicts a report from another source.
This week, Tacoma Power employees collected 65 summer-run steelhead adults, 51 spring Chinook adults, 72 spring Chinook mini-jacks, 96 fall Chinook adults, 22 fall Chinook jacks, 31 coho adults, 22 coho jacks, and 18 cutthroat trout over four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. All the fish counts are down significantly from last week.
John Thompson of Sportsman’s Warehouse tells me that the Washougal still isn’t worth the effort until we receive some rain.
Columbia Gorge and Tributaries
I spoke with Carl Coolidge at Klickitat Canyon Market he says that things are still in waiting mode. The water is super low but the temperatures are cooling off at night. This could improve the steelhead bite as there are some in the river. They received a little rain today, but not enough to draw any Chinook into the system. Carl offers a great shuttle service if you are ever in need. You can find more info about it on their website. River data for the Klickitat can be found here.
The WDFW report for the Wind River – One bank rod had no catch. 1 boat/2 rods kept two Chinook, and released two Chinook and three coho. Similar circumstances as the Klickitat.
Checkers for WDFW at Drano Lake found 8 bank rods released one coho. 62 boats/173 rods kept 75 Chinook, eight Chinook jacks, two coho and released 15 Chinook and five steelhead. Its very busy, but if you don’t mind the crowds there are fish to be had.
Reports from Merwin indicate things are cooling off and many fish are in spawning mode. Some folks are finding good fishing down by the dam. It’s been scratch fishing from what I’ve heard. Good time of year to try some new things. Pressure is much lighter with other fishing opportunites in the region.
The lower river below approximately Corbett, OR is closed to all Salmon and Steelhead fishing. Everyone is dialing in for the 2nd day of a three day strugeon retention season. Have fun fishing the gorge for Chinook and Sturgeon this Saturday. Could be a good day to plug the boat with mutltiple species.